Courageous commerce needed in the midst of the ‘woke’ shakedown
These days, it takes courage to go against the tide, to hold a different opinion than most of your friends, and possess inner conviction to be willing to stand on what you believe to be true and right.
Who would’ve thought that companies, corporations or businesses also face these kinds of challenges? They do, and each day we’re hearing more about the extreme measures commerce is taking in order to survive what is definitely a “shakedown” by the politically “woke” contingent, with its agenda built on coercion, conformity and non-individuality.
If you haven’t heard about this fairly new tactic, it’s called ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance). In my recent article for ALL ISRAEL NEWS, entitled, “Booking.com Goes Politically Woke,” I mentioned that ESG is a rating program, created by the U.N. Environment Program Finance Initiative, which attempts to score businesses on their adherence to woke standards of environmental concern, social interaction among customers and communities, and governance as it relates to transparency.
Businesses which satisfy certain expectations are rewarded a high score, while those which are less “diligent” are penalized with a low score. Obviously, the purpose of the score is to promote businesses which have the highest ratings to the general public and to discourage patronage for those with low grades.
ESG involves the integration of environment-related values into a company’s culture, strategy and goals. Here is just one example of some ESG recommendations on the website of Deloitte, a tax-consulting company with a branch in Israel, which claims it is committed to ESG principles:
Develop a purpose-led organization strategy aligned with ESG principles;
Identify, measure, value, monitor and report social and environmental impacts;
Stakeholder-engagement strategies and assessments, including engagement facilitation;
Ethics, integrity and anti-corruption advisory;
Responsible investments and impact investments advisory;
Compensation policy, models and benchmarking.
While some of the above wording may not be completely clear to the average person, if you read between the lines, it looks as if their goals include being “all in” with ESG values; this might mean keeping employees on a tight leash to make sure they are 100% compliant and constantly programmed to think of ways to show how they are trying to impress their higher ups, or making sure that investors are also on board, as they suck up to them.
It might mean setting up their own fact-checking system, which will arbitrarily decide right from wrong, truth from lies, and whatever other virtues they deem require judgment calls; or playing “monetary favorites,” greasing the palms of those with shared values.
In short, if you’re a business which wants to survive in today’s politically woke world, you’ve got to play the game – one based on selling out to the elites, leading to power, money, prestige and upward mobility.
Booking.com, as I mentioned, has bowed the knee to the woke BDS movement, without regard to how it would impact Jews and Zionist Christians worldwide; the tradeoff, for them, was complying with this new set of corporate goals.
It will be interesting to see just how much this new strategy affects their bottom line.
Likewise, PayPal, another company well-known as reliable, which so many of us have used to easily transfer money online almost went the same route. I say “almost,” because reports indicated that PayPal was set to implement a new policy permitting them to fine users to the tune of $2,500 if they were seen as promoting “misinformation.”
Immediately, the antennas went up! Who determines what misinformation is? Who is this ultimate judge of truth, and is there any recourse or discussion had before the removal of the massive sum of $2,500 from one’s account? Did they honestly think that everyone would be on board with such an arbitrary and dictatorial measure?
Well, predictably, everyone wasn’t! In fact, the blowback was so enormous that PayPal was forced immediately to withdraw their policy.
Even the company’s former president, David Marcus, blasted the company “over the implication that it could seize customers’ money for finding their views objectionable.”
According to National Review, on Oct. 9, PayPal backtracked on its published policy that would have fined users $2,500 “for spreading ‘misinformation,’ claiming the update had gone out ‘in error.’”
The National Review article went on to quote PayPal as saying, “We’re sorry for the confusion this has caused.”
So, while more and more companies are putting out feelers to the general public, in order to see how they can appease the “woke gods,” while not ticking off their valued customers, it’s refreshing to know that some Republican leaders, such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Texas Governor Greg Abbott have pushed back against support for ESG.
According to a Sept. 29 CNBC article [“There’s an ESG backlash inside the executive ranks …”], “chief financial officers at top companies in the U.S. show executive frustration with both regulators and asset managers when it comes to current ESG momentum.”
The article reported that “only 25% of CFOs surveyed by CNBC support the SEC’s climate disclosure proposal and more than half (55%) of CFOs are opposed to the SEC climate rule, and 35% say they ‘strongly oppose’ it.”
Another concern which has been expressed is the lack of standard metrics, causing “ESG rating firms to recently be called to Capitol Hill to explain their methodologies,” CBC reported.
While liberal think-tank firms like McKinsey and Co. are touting how “ESG is Essential for companies to maintain their social license,” not everyone is convinced; to some of us, it’s sounding a lot like the same social-credit scoring which China implemented in order to get a read on who is a good and faithful member of the party – and, conversely, who isn’t.
This is why companies, corporations and businesses must decide, now, if they are going to have a backbone and stand up to the politically woke ESG agenda, or if they will roll over and allow themselves to undergo a “shakedown,” all in the name of surviving in the new global reality – which is completely about the dissolution of personal freedom and individual conviction, as well as free speech and thought – the pillars over which wars were fought and blood was spilled.
Courage is not, by any means, a free commodity. It requires sacrifice and bravery. Let’s hope that those two precious attributes are still alive and kicking in 2022 and going forward!
A former Jerusalem elementary and middle-school principal and the granddaughter of European Jews who arrived in the US before the Holocaust. Making Aliyah in 1993, she is retired and now lives in the center of the country with her husband.